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Sculpting the Human Skull

From ZSphere to Final Render Using ZBrush & Maya With John William Crossland


Learn how to sculpt a realistic human skull with this comprehensive workshop by Principal Character Artist John William Crossland. You’ll discover how to identify the differences between male and female skulls and seek out the critical, key landmarks of human skulls that can bring together a sculpt from ZSphere to the final render.

This 5-hour workshop is designed to enable you to take just a few of the basic tools in ZBrush and understand precisely how to use those foundational basics to manipulate and create a human skull as a project for your portfolio. Whether you’re a beginner or more intermediate ZBrush artist, this workshop will provide many helpful insights into navigating workflows and improving your creative sculpting skills. John also offers guidance for creating workable topology, starting with a basic sculpt and finishing up with impressive, complex geometry.

With the sculpt complete, John moves over to Maya where the lighting and rendering parts of his workflow are covered, using Arnold for the final render. To generate a portfolio-ready final artwork, the composite is taken into Photoshop for the final editing steps.

John’s ZTL file is provided with all the working steps, along with his Mayarenderscene and Photoshop PSD file detailing all the layers used for the final composite, for you to compare to your own project throughout the workshop.

Duration: 3h 27m

Format: HD 1920x1080

John William Crossland

Lead & Principal Character Artist at Remedy Entertainment PLC

John William Crossland is a Lead & Principal Character Artist with over 12 years of experience working in the games industry. John is a Fine Arts graduate with a background in Graphic Design and currently works at Remedy Games in Finland, where he is the Lead and Principal Artist on Alan Wake 2. Previous credits include Watchdogs Legion, Quantum Break, and many others.

Follow John on Instagram at @johnwcrossland and on Twitter at @johnwcrossland.

  • Are you looking for rapid growth in your career in character creation? This course is definitely for you. John not only has the passion but also mastered cutting-edge knowledge of character creation. We are always amazed by his professional approach when working together in Ubisoft for many hero characters.

    - Kenny Lam
    Art Director - Ubisoft Toronto

  • John Crossland has always demonstrated in our Character team that the more you know about your crafting tools and process the more fearless you can be as a successful artist in this demanding industry. With the gravity always toward reaching best quality in the assets. John always set a great example for how the learning process itself can unlock more artist love for the craft.

    - Patrick “p@!” Ingoldsby
    Art Director Torn Banner Studios